What is there to hate about the job search? Remember when you were in grade school? The level of optimism about finding a career might have been unrealistic-but was it that misguided that the job search in reality would be nothing like the dreams you once had of your future profession? Whether you are currently employed, laid off or trying to land your first new gig-there is seemingly always somebody trying to rain on your parade. Here are things I really hate about the job search and why.
1) No Return Calls
The biggest and most annoying thing in the job search is not receiving a follow up call after landing and doing an interview. Employers throughout the majority of my job search in the past year have bothered to call me back after a job interview very sporadically. Are there so many candidates during the job search that a simple phone call or email can’t be sent to every single one of them? Nobody likes rejection. But here is what is worse. Not receiving a followup call from a prospective employer shows a complete lack of respect. The job hunter has many variables to consider upon possibly landing a job. Whether it’s relocation, finances or weighing the options of another job possibility-the job seeker has every right to know whether he or she is still in the running. If a prospective employee calls to find out the status of the job in question, the employer should absolutely call them back. A simple or yes or no is good enough for most people. Just please don’t leave them hanging. It’s very important to get closure for the prospective employee as well. This way the candidate can continue their job search elsewhere instead of pining away for the job in question. It’s just plain inconsiderate to not return a phone call from someone who had the initial understanding that they were a viable candidate for the position.
In other words, we don’t want to take a hint by not getting a phone call. Most of us would rather hear a no regardless of why instead of playing the waiting game.
2) Interviewers Who Stick To Questions
There is nothing more annoying to me as a job hunter than an interviewer who sticks completely to a script. I think it’s safe to say that many job hunters will agree that it’s more important to speak freely and practice the art of conversation during an interview. It always amazes me that someone who is actually doing the hiring feels compelled or frightened enough to stick to a specific script without any deviation. I think that a good interviewer should be able to ask questions based upon the responses of candidates and the interviewee should be able and allowed to do the same. Every single candidate is different in one aspect or another. So why would anyone bother to have a question list that makes the interview way too formal and not adaptive to that particular candidate? I guess what it seems to boil down to for me is “are they truly getting to know me as a candidate” or do they want some robot who magically provides the correct answers to the script. I find it quite insulting when people don’t have a simple person to person conversation. I don’t think it’s a bad idea to have a list of questions. I do think it’s a bad idea when other topics come up that can’t be addressed because the interviewer wants to stick too closely to the plan. If it’s relevant to me about the job-chances are that information is somewhat critical for me in making an educated decision on whether or not this job is for me.
3) Interviewers Who Are Late
I find it quite ironic that I read often about how bosses hate to see a person be late for a scheduled interview. During the past year, I have run into many more bosses who were late or had to reschedule interviews in comparison to my effort to get to the interview on time. I have endured secretaries who wrote down the wrong time or actually said “I thought you canceled?”. If my year of job searching is indicative at all, the lack of communications skills is kind of frightening across the board setting up and doing the interview process. Does that make me want to work for the company after getting a small glimpse of how things work internally? Absolutely not. My time is just as valuable as the person who may be hiring me. From my experience, there doesn’t seem to be a mutual respect between those doing the hiring and those looking for positions. With that said, I have run into many wonderful people who kept their scheduled appointments with me or called to let me know in advance they were running late. It’s okay to be late. Things happen. Just communicate that to me and treat me as if I am interviewing you as well.
4) Not Being Specific About Job Pay
One thing that drives me and other job searchers nuts is when an employer doesn’t specifically mention the pay when asked. There are times where a prospective employee just shouldn’t ask that question. If the job is a normal non-commission job, the salary needs to be offered verbally in a ball park range when asked. I am not sure why certain employers won’t give an estimate. Do they plan to low-ball the person they hire after finding out their previous salary? This entire situation only makes me very skeptical of a company during the interview process. There should be at least an approximate salary range in mind-so why are prospective employees not privy to that information? Before I accept any job or go deep into the interview process, I would love to know what that ballpark range is. When companies withhold that information, I typically lose interest and move on to the company that is straight forward and honest about the pay of the position. I don’t need an exact number-just somewhere in the vicinity please.
5) Credit Check
There is nothing that makes me personally more uneasy than multiple prospective employers checking my credit score. It seems like a giant red flag when companies ask for your social security number in order to check your credit. My credit isn’t bad and that’s not the issue. The issue is the invasion of privacy of a company that has yet to hire you. Do I want the companies to know that I have $500 of unpaid medical bills? Do I want them to be able to see that in 2004 I was late by one day for my car payment? It seems very odd and fishy that companies would want to check your credit score to determine if you are worthy enough to hire. I can understand in some situations where a future employee is required to handle money. Over the course of my one year job search, my credit has been checked by 6 or 7 companies that didn’t offer me the job. I find it very alarming that these companies are allowed legally to check your credit and obtain that information. This was one of the single most annoying things about the job search. Is it worth my time to say I hate this about the job search? Absolutely. It’s something that should absolutely be fixed about the process.
Those are five things I have grown to hate about a job search. There are other things that come to mind that are simple annoyances–but nothing sticks out more to me than this list. Please feel free to leave your comments below about what you hate about the job search. Perhaps this will serve as a good read to many employers who are looking to achieve a more harmonious interview process.